You don’t want your story edited? Use an advertorial!
By Adeolu Isadiran
An advertorial cuts between an advert and PR. The term ‘advertorial’ is a blend of ‘advertisement’ and ‘editorial.’It is an advertisement designed to simulate editorial content, whilst at the same time offering valid information to prospective clients. Often times, it contains more information and is paid for.
A lot of times, clients complain of their stories/press releases being poorly edited or not well used by the media. They often see this as a failureon the part of their PR agency which serves as a link between them and the media, forgetting that the PR agency doesn’t ‘own’ the media. Also, clients forget that so many editorial factors determine what goes into the papers - space constraints, newsworthiness and other factors. Furthermore, some press releases sound more or less like advertisements with the client refusing to pay for publication.
Most organizations choose to use advertorials because of the benefits associated with it. For instance, a press release can be published as written using advertorial format, instead of subjecting it to the editorial discretion of the editor. Also, it provides an opportunity to tell a selling-story to drive engagement. A well written advertorial delivers brand’s message/information in a format that is much more engaging and interesting when compared to the usual advertisements.
Advertorials are essential for organizations that offer technical/professional services such as medicine, law, financial analysis, that need to proffer explanations on seemingly complex ideas. Companies who sell goods or services that demand a higher price than similar products can also use a story tied around advertorials to position the value of their products and emphasize on the usefulness and benefits.
However, when drafting content for an advertorial, care must be taken to play down on technical terms as much as possible so as not to confuse the readers because the message is more for the consumers that the organization. Use simple, conversational language and avoid long sentences and long paragraphs (Keep It Simple and Short if possible).
So, when next you want your brand communication message classified as ‘touch not,’ an advertorial would do well in that regard. This will not only drive acceptance for the brand but also build credibility because advertorials are viewed by the audience/consumers as trusted content.
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